Resilience is the ability to return to the original form after being bent, stretched or compressed. It’s the ability to readily recover from illness, depression or adversity. How would you ever handle it if you lost everything you had today? What would your next step be? How long would you be depressed and upset and angry? What would it take for you to pull yourself up and start all over again? How resilient are you? Could you handle it? Could you learn from all of your disappointments and start all over again? What would it take?
First, it would take a lot of self-discipline. It would take a lot of positive self-talk to muster up the energy to begin again. It would take a lot of concentration to block out the noise and the clutter of all the negative voices trying to get through, as well as the negative voices of others around you. It would take a lot of discipline to balance the fear and anxiety with the knowing that, if you did it once, you can do it all over again.
Whether your losses had anything to do with you or not, your future success has everything to do with you. It would take a lot of self-reliance to avoid blame. What’s happened has happened. You would need to get on with your life and begin again. If you lost everything tomorrow and were gathering the courage to try again, it would take a lot of self-appreciation. You need to know in your heart and mind that you have the skills, the talent and the strength to do it one more time.
Cultivating a resilient character turns failure into success. A resilient person won’t give up. A resilient person will, in spite of all obstacles and setbacks, keep doing it until.
In The Resilient Self, authors Steven and Sybil Wolin list seven key characteristics that compose resilience:
1. Resilience requires insight.
You need to develop the ability to ask yourself tough questions and answer honestly. If you had something to do with your loss, be honest and responsible for it.
2. Resilience is independent.
As a resilient person, you can count on yourself to bounce back into life.
3. Although resilience is independent, it’s also tied to others.
The more people you are responsible for, the greater your motivation to begin again—the stronger the reason, the stronger the action.
4. Resilience calls for initiative.
You need to develop the ability to take charge of the situation, to take charge of the problem. You need to stand up and do whatever is necessary to get back on course.
5. Resilience has an element of creativity.
With resilience, you are able to look at a situation and creatively determine the best way out. You are enterprising in your approach toward starting over.
6. A resilient person has humor.
You may cry until you start laughing, but a sense of humor is so important when turning your life around. You’ve got to take your goals seriously, and you’ve got to take yourself seriously. But at times, you’ve also got to be able to laugh at yourself and your situation.
7. A resilient person has a strong sense of morality.
Whatever you do to get back on your feet, make sure it’s moral. Make sure that your upcoming success is at the service, and not at the expense of, others. Success, if it is yours to keep, must be at the service of others.
The more obstacles you face and overcome, the more times you falter and get back on track, the more difficulties you struggle with and conquer, the more resiliency you will naturally develop. If you are resilient, there is nothing that can hold you back.
Related: How to Bounce Back From Failure